Monday, February 25, 2013

Quotable Kids: Mortality and Gender Roles Edition

Will, to Finn: Something's happening to our [blanket] cave. It's wilting. That means this cave is going to die.

Will, doting on Bridget, to me: Soon she'll need lipstick!
Me: Why?
W: 'Cause! She's a girl! Boys need Chapstick.

Finn, ruminating while eating, to me: [Mrs. Walsh's dog] Zoe bites on bones 'cause they're not real. [Pause] And Zoe can bite on dead people.

Finn, watching Tangled during family movie night: I'm not scared! [Confidingly] When I was two, I was scared.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finn's Third Birthday

I've been approach-and-avoiding this birthday post for nearly a month, and it's not because there's nothing to say--it's because there's way, way too much. And I don't know how to write about it.

Fintan, my baby boy, is three. He's the strong, silent(ish) type, and that's the way I feel about him: my love is strong, but my words are quiet. Finn taps into my right-brain in a way no one else in the world has ever done. Since babyhood, he's demanded my full attention, forced me to study him for clues. I've gotten so much better at listening to my own intuition, at forgiving myself when words fail me, because Finn is so skillful with other forms of communication.

Serious expression, seriously adorable

And then, literally on his third birthday, he seemed to grow up and locate this fluent, self-expressive vocabulary before my eyes. His confidence has escalated. His shyness no longer devolves into a mope. His ideas, corrections and pronouncements flow (all-too-) readily from his lips.

Waking up on Birthday Morning

Presents for breakfast!

Will and Finn are playing really happily together these days, and I hear Finn's "No, Will!" just as often as I hear a bossy order from his big brother. He also pipes up with gems from the backseat, and one of his favorite things is to replace song lyrics with animal names, and that sends both boys into hysterical fits.

Finn is obsessed with Bridget and loves to hold her hands and "walk her." He also has a best friend at school now with whom he invents new versions of "football," plays pretend Santa/sleigh ride, and has an all-around blast with (and talks about incessantly).

A few weeks ago, we were at our friends' house and Finn started descending the stairs to the basement to play with his buddy Jack. From the kitchen, we could hear Finn: "Jaaaaack...Jack-EE!...Jackers...Jack-olas..." he called out as he landed on each step. "He really belongs in a Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie," I said to Dave.

I love lamp.

He's been potty-trained (self-motivated) since just after two and a half, and that independence is great--but of course it also means that he feels he can do EVERYTHING by himself now (not to mention, he can trick us into letting him stall with "one last pee"). He loved ice skating on the Frog Pond for his birthday and would've stayed on the ice another two hours if Dave had let him. (We fear he's a wannabe hockey and football player, two sports we'd rather steer clear of...)

So he's still our resident clown, our daredevil and our limit-pusher, but our interactions feel suddenly different; it seems like Finny feels understood in a way he maybe didn't before. We've been working hard for three years to achieve that, and it's wonderful to see in action.

I made him football cupcakes and a baseball cake, as requested--and it felt so good to really know that he would love them (not only the eating part) because he is TRULY passionate about all things sports. He can't wait to start soccer this spring, and he really can't wait until he can jump into the pool and swim around without any annoying bubbles on his back. All that working out has made him leaner, but that's nothing a few cupcakes can't fix:

Sensitive-souled and irrepressibly spirited, intense but full of glee, with a dark stare and a light heart, he is my amazing, unimaginable baby boy, even though he's...three. Happy birthday Finny! I love you.